Children with Special Needs are very well catered for in St. Patrick's B.N.S. Several of our teachers availed of a year long course in special education and applied this to their class teaching and in the area of Learning Support within the school. In recent years the S.E.T. team (Special Education Teachers) has attended training courses in the areas of A.S.D. (Autistic Spectrum Disorder), A.D.D. (Attention Deficit Disorder), O.T. (Occupational Therapy), S.L.D. (Dyslexia), Speech & Language etc. We have a trained Maths Recovery Tutor and First Steps Reading and Writing Tutor on our staff. We have been involved with the Network for Resource Teachers in planning summer courses, weekend Seminars, evening lectures etc. in order to upskill our S.E.T., class teachers, parents and S.N.A.'s (Special Needs Assistants).
St. Patrick's Boys' National School strives to promote a competent level of reading among all our pupils. Shared Reading is done with all pupils from 1st to 4th classes. This is where Parent/Guardian and Child read together at home and a booklet is kept to monitor progress. Parents also come in to certain classes to do Shared Reading with pupils at school. Shared Reading is a great way to foster enjoyment and fluency in reading.
The P.A.T. Phonics Scheme is taught to all classes from 1st to 4th. This provides a foundation in phonics and consolidates other approaches to phonics and reading skills, throughout the school.
There is a close link with Mayfield local library and regular class visits are made and activities attended.
We work very closely with the D.E.S., H.S.E., C.O.P.E., A.S.D. services etc. to ensure that our boys are able to access the maximum resource hours, S.N.A. Support and assistive technology. Psychologists, Speech & Language therapists, Occupational therapists and the visiting teacher for the visually impaired visit the school regularly to offer advice to parents and staff. In partnership with parents, we ensure that pupils with special needs make the transition to second level with the minimum of stress to the family.
Boys with Special Needs are integrated into the mainstream class as much as possible. Their S.E.T. works with the parent and class teacher to devise an Individual Education Plan to maximise his access to the Curriculum. S.N.A. support is available where needed both in the classroom and in the playground. Regular meetings are held to review the child's progress and plan ahead. If necessary, homework is adapted to suit the child's ability and building his self esteem is always central to his I.E.P.